John Scheinman Captures MJC Champions Handicapping Tournament

October 16, 2022

Earns $12,000 in Prize Money and Berth in Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge
Live Racing Returns to Laurel Thursday to Open Maryland Million Weekend

LAUREL, Md. – John Scheinman of Baltimore, a two-time Eclipse Award-winning writer, finished with a balance of $1,691.10 to top of field of 131 entrants and capture the Maryland Jockey Club’s Champions Handicapping Tournament held Saturday, Oct. 15 at Laurel Park.

The fall edition of the bi-annual Champions Tournament was hosted in Laurel’s refurbished second-floor sports bar. James Staub of Ellicott City, Md. captured the spring event in March with a final bankroll of $3,672.

John Scheinman takes a congratulatory phone call. Photo courtesy of John Scheinman/Facebook

The tournament was open to players for a fee of $300. In addition to prize money, the top four finishers qualified for automatic berths to the National Handicapping Championship (NHC), Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) or Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge (PWCBC).

After making a minimum of 10-win, place and/or show wagers on races from Laurel, Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, Belmont Park at Aqueduct and Keeneland, Scheinman ended with a $51.90 cushion over runner-up Robin Buser and earned $12,000 in prize money. 

Given his choice of four tournament berths, Scheinman, author of the novella Bal Harbour Blues, selected the BCBC to be held November 4-5 at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. Buser, of Delran, N.J., finished with a bankroll of $1,639.20 to earn $8,000 in prize money and a berth in the NHC, scheduled for March 10-12, 2023, in Las Vegas.


The leaderboard. Photo courtesy of John Scheinman/Facebook

Third place went to Joe Walzog of Nottingham, Md., who finished with a balance of $830 and earned $4,000 and is headed to the PWCBC in January 2023 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Gilson Fontz of Millersville, Md. was fourth with a balance of $821.20 and earned $2,400 and a seat at the NHC.

Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Robert Bandzwolek with a tournament balance of $600.80, William Miller ($541), George Carr ($426), Michael Sweeney ($380), Gregory McBeth ($364.90) and Frank Barnhart ($315). Each player earned $2,400 in prize money.

Live racing returns to Laurel Park Thursday, Oct. 20 with a 12:40 p.m. post time. The 37th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program featuring eight stakes and four starter stakes will take place Saturday, Oct. 22.

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

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